Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst says it's a "difficult decision" about whether to play in the Outback Bowl or skip it. Angelique S. Chengelis, Detroit News
Ann Arbor — Michigan fifth-year senior defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is mulling whether he will play in the Outback Bowl.
Hurst hopes to decide in the next week whether he will play or sit out like several big-name players did last year in advance of their professional football careers. Hurst is a projected first-round pick.
“Not really sure right now,” Hurst said Thursday. “It’s just business as usual, just practicing and all that type of stuff.”
Last bowl season there were players heading off to pro careers who decided not to participate in their team’s bow Among the big-name players, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and LSU’s Leonard Fournette skipped bowl games.
Former Michigan tight end Jake Butt played in the bowl last year and suffered his second ACL injury which greatly affected his draft stock.
Hurst said he will discuss his decision with his family and also Butt and former UM defensive lineman Chris Wormley.
“Just trying to use all my resources to make sure I make the best decisions for myself and my family,” Hurst said.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Sunday he will have open conversations with players who are considering not playing in the bowl.
“Haven’t had those conversations yet,” Harbaugh said Sunday night “We will, I’m sure. Again, I’ll ask if there’s a player on that team has that perspective, it doesn’t have to be secretive, doesn’t have to come from the dark shadows. We’ll talk about it, we’ll be able to figure it out. I’ll be supportive in the conversation and the discussions about it. None of those have taken place though yet.”
Hurst finished the season with 59 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.
On Wednesday, he was named first-team All-Big Ten by the Associated Press, and was named All-America by Pro Football Focus.